Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent - A Professional Education Company
Professional English Training Center Located In UK.
Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com
www.eloquentlearning.com

When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

by Jun 14, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo 

 

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English Time Ask Elo (13/06/2019)

 

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When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo 

 

Asked by @ Arnold Montego  (Community Leaner)

 

When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

 

Elo Kasia is the English Mentor for  When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple TenseEnglish Grammar and Speaking Academy”  now.

 

 

When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense

When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 
 

 

🤔 Question Time: When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 

🙏 @ Arnold Montego, Thank you for your question.

 

😀 As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 
 
 
 
These two tenses are confusing for many students, that is because quite often in other languages we do not have this differentiation.
 
 
The difference between the two is possibly one of the most difficult problems, especially for beginners. I will try to explain the usage of the two tenses through compare and contrast.
 
 
Basically:
 
  • Past Simple is used for completed past events or actions which have no connection to the present.
  • Present Perfect is used for actions which started in the past and are still in progress now OR for finished actions which have some connection to the present.

 

Compare these examples:

1) Present Perfect – unfinished actions that started in the past and continue to the present:

  • I’ve lived in London since 2005. (and I still live there)
  • I’ve known my best friend since primary school. (she is still my best friend)
  • We’ve studied English tenses for three weeks. (we are still doing it or are just about to finish)

 

Past Simple – finished actions:

  • I lived in London for 5 years. (I no longer live there, I moved to Scotland in 2010)
  • I knew Derek for 10 years (but then he moved away and we lost touch).
  • We studied English tenses last term. (we are no longer studying them)

 

2) Present Perfect – an experience or accomplishment in someone’s life (when the person is still alive)

  • My sister has been to Africa. She has seen some amazing places there.
  • I’ve appeared on TV.
  • They have never been abroad.

 

Past Simple – an experience or finished action in someone’s life using a past time expression.

  • My grandfather went to Africa and fought there during the war.
  • I appeared on TV last year.
  • They didn’t go abroad last summer, they couldn’t afford it.

 

3) Present Perfect – an action with a result in the present:

  • I’ve lost my keys! (The result is that I can’t get into my house now).
  • We’ve bought a new car. (we have a new car now)
  • Have you finished your homework yet?

 

Past Simple – a finished action with no result in the present:

  • I lost my keys yesterday. It was terrible! (Now there is no result. I got new keys yesterday).
  • We bought a new car last week.
  • Did he finish his homework before going out?

 

4) Present Perfect – with an unfinished time word (this week, this month, today, recently, already):

  • I’ve seen John this week.
  • We haven’t been to the cinema this month.
  • He hasn’t done any work today.

 

Past Simple – with a finished, or definite time word (last week, last month, yesterday):

  • I saw John last week.
  • We didn’t go to the cinema last month.
  • He didn’t do any work yesterday.

 

The best way to remember which one to use is to consider two things:

  1. Are we talking about a specific time (Past Simple) or we focus on the action talking place (Present Perfect)?
  2. Is there any connection with the present (Present Perfect) or no connection (Past Simple)?

 

In reality, the more you practise with different sentences and situations the better. Try to remember some common phrases we have studied this week and make more sentences in different situations as you encounter them.

 

Do not worry if you are confused sometimes. This is natural and fluency will come with time and practice.

 

Check my other articles here: All English Time Ask Elo – Learning Articles

 

 
When to use Present Perfect Tense and Past Simple Tense Elo Kasia is the Community Mentor for English Grammar and Speaking Academy”  and Director at Eloquent Learning Online School www.eloquentlearning.com.

 

Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent Learning - A Professional Education Company Located In UK. , Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com

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